Over the years, our belief has grown in believing that breeding bucks can and will
have a major impact on the quality of the teat structures of the does. We now will
not have a breeding buck in our program that does not have clean, show quality teats.
We have come to this conclusion through three different reasons.
Personal experience with different breeding bucks in our herd.
Input from other breeders related to teat structure problems on offspring from specific,
well known bucks.
Teat and Udder research we started in 2011 and continued data gathering every kidding
Summary:The buck can have an important impact on what teat structures the offspring
Breeders need to seriously consider their breeding buck's teat structure in order
to offer a better chance of good, clean teats on their offspring.
Boer Associations need to seriously consider changing the standards to include acceptable
and cull factors with the teat structures on breeding bucks. It is misleading to
the Boer industry to award a buck wins in the show ring and the Ennoblement label
when they are likely to have a negative impact on the teat structures of the doe
A few years after we got into the Boer industry, we purchased a nice buck out of
an ABGA National Grand Champion Buck. We bred him with does that had previously had
offspring out of a different buck. We started noticing we were getting teat problems
out of does that had given us clean teat structures in the past. After one breeding
season, we sold the buck and went with a different buck in our breeding program.
The offspring from the same does no longer had teat problems. The buck we sold went
on to become Ennobled in ABGA through to breeder that purchased him. We never checked
his teat structure because the ABGA standards say nothing about acceptable and cull
factors with bucks. Thus breeders will only look at the Ennobled label in a pedigree
and not be given any indication that the genetics may produce cull factors in the
doe offspring from the buck.
We started checking the teat structures of our current and future breeding bucks
and the percentage of doe kids with show quality teat structures increased dramatically.
The more doe kids we have with show quality teats means the more doe kids we can
sell at a higher price because they don't have a potential cull factor in their teat
Input from other breeders
We had a friend that bred many of her does with a well known buck that had an outstanding
show record with several National Grand Champion awards. When we visited her farm
after her does had kidded, she commented that she was having an abnormal number of
does with split teats - a cull. She said the owner of the buck had called her to
see how the kids looked which she said they looked fine. Then the owner asked if
there were any teat problems. The owner was seeing the same problem with the doe
kids out of the buck at other farms. The buck was quickly Ennobled through the show
wins and that is all breeders would see in pedigrees.
We have heard from other breeders that they had checked the teat structures on some
of the well known Ennobled bucks and indicated the bucks had bad teat structures.
However, since there is nothing in the ABGA standards, the visual inspections or
at shows, that important information never was passed on to other breeders in the
The final example came from a friend that purchased 60 embryos from a flush with
a buck that had been heavily marketed in the industry and caused a big buzz for a
year or two. A few years later our friend was having a dispersal sale and we asked
him if any of the animals from the embryos would be in the sale. He said NO. He said
that there were so many cull factors in the offspring from the buck that they ended
up getting rid of all of the genetics. Some of the cull factors included bad teat
structures. Breeders are still likely to see an ad about the buck but there is nothing
in the system to let breeders know the teat problems that other breeders have had
with the genetics.
Teat and Udder Research
After we became believers in the importance of the buck's teat structure, we started
wondering about the two teat and four teat question. We were wondering what the
impact was in breeding a two teat animal to a four teat animal. We started collecting
the details in 2011 on each breeding to see what the offspring's teat structures
were when we knew what the buck and doe's teat structures were. That has given us
some very important information that we share with the industry and we will continue
to collect the information for each breeding season in order to give us a better
understanding how the genetics affect the offspring.
One other thing we were looking for was the impact of a buck on cleaning up bad teat
structures a doe may have. We have had several outstanding does with terrific features
except no show quality teats. We have seen over and over again that the offspring
from a doe with teat problems will likely have clean, show quality teats. That means
we will not cull a doe just because she does not have show quality teats as long
as the teats are functional and will cause no problems with kids nursing from them.
It seems that using bucks with good teat structure can clearly have a positive impact
on the teat structure of the kids. That means more does can be sold at a higher price
because they have show quality kids.
In conclusion, we firmly believe that breeders need to consider breeding with bucks
that have clean teat structures in order to improve the percentage of offspring with
show quality teat structures. This can improve the value of the animals you have
to sell. Recently, we have seen more and more breeders ask about the teat structures
of our buck kids when they are considering purchasing them. It does not cost anything
to breed with clean teated bucks but it can result in higher prices for your does
you are selling if they have show quality teats.
We believe that the Boer Associations should change their standards and add acceptable
and cull features of the buck's teat structure so members will have better information
about the genetics having good and bad teat structures. ABGA has been focuing on
whether two teat or four teat are better even though both are good and acceptable.
They will cull a doe with teat structures that are not show quality but will not
even consider that it may be coming from the buck's genetics.
We believe that it is very important for breeders to have as much information about
the teats and udders of animals they are considering buying. It is important that
breeders also know what the history of teat structures in the different generations
in a pedigree. That is why we will continue to document the teat structures of the
bucks, does and offspring are in our breeding program. We are now also documenting
what the udders look like in our does about to kid so they can understand if the
doe will be producing enough milk to raise twins, triplets or quads. We have purchased
several high priced does with pedigrees overflowing with Ennoblements labels but
the doe not have enough milk to feed twins much less triplets.
Here are two links to areas in our website that show the research we are documenting
on our animals for potential buyers or breeders interested in the genetics they may
already have in their herd.